The Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), have joined efforts to launch a comprehensive awareness campaign about the critical need for early diagnosis and effective intervention for patients with endometriosis.
According to the Journal of Human Reproduction, endometriosis patients typically experience considerable pain and other debilitating problems for nearly 12 years before an official diagnosis is made.
“This is unacceptable, and it has to change,” Dr. Tamer Seckin, EFA’s founder said in a press release. “Misdiagnosis, dump diagnosis and ignoring or dismissing the symptoms of endometriosis, and incomplete and improper surgeries are the main reasons for the long delay in diagnosing, and treating the disease.”
In July, Seckin and colleagues met to discuss valid concerns with top officials of ACOG. Included were Drs. Harry Reich and Ray Wetheim; EFA’s Managing Director Theresa Davidson; Dr. Christopher Zahn, ACOG’s vice president for practice; and Dr. Rachel Gandell Tetlow, ACOG’s director of federal affairs.
- A potential collaboration on a full-scale expansion across the United States of EFA’s teen educational program, the ENPOWR (Endometriosis Promoting Outreach and Wide Recognition) Project.
- The implementation of more robust efforts to improve the standards of diagnosis and care related to endometriosis, specifically among young adults, to reduce current delays in diagnosing the disease in adolescents.
- The improvement of training standards for surgeons on techniques specific to endometriosis, including proper recognition and excisional removal of lesions.
- The production of updated practice guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
“I am thrilled about collaborating with ACOG, as it is one of the most influential women’s reproductive health organizations in the nation, with the ability to make a tremendous impact on practice as a whole,” Seckin said. “Early diagnosis is crucial to detecting endometriosis and awareness is key to timely treatment. Working with ACOG, the EFA can expand its awareness campaign nationwide to reach so many more medical professionals and women.”
Before the meeting, EFA co-founder Padma Kashmi met with congressional leaders in Washington, DC., to begin discussions about bolstering collaborative efforts for endometriosis awareness.
Seckin hopes that the EFA and ACOG awareness partnership is the first of many to come.
“The EFA looks forward to creative partnerships both in the public and private sectors that will help spread the word out about this debilitating disease,” she said.